“Ashley, Lucy and Kay are you listening to a word of this!” Exclaimed Mr. Kraugher angrily.
“Yes sir, we were just discussing the factors which prohibited the German’s from gaining control over Russia in 19…” Replied Lucy sounding surprised
“Oh that’s all right then girls!” And with a satisfied smile, turned back to the board and continued writing.
In fact we hadn’t been talking about that at all, it had been more along the lines of what we were doing at the weekend, but my best friend Lucy with her intellectual ability had nearly every teacher round her little finger. This didn’t really bother me though, and often worked to our advantage. Kay, Lucy and I had become best friends at the start of secondary school and had been ever since. As you may have gathered Lucy was the brainy one. She was a pretty girl but mostly disguised this by tying her perfect light brown hair up tightly and rarely wearing makeup. Kay was the opposite however; her pixyish face was always make-upped to perfection or slightly overdone. She had long curly strawberry blonde hair, which was often down and a perfect figure. She was the loud rebellious one of us. I was more the neutral one of the group. My long wavy brown hair was often straightened and my tan made me look very Spanish, but was the calm one of the group and compromised work with social events.
Kay began telling me and Lucy something about her new outfit when all of a sudden she stopped in mid sentence and starting staring towards the door. I turned to see what she was looking at then I saw Him, the most beautiful human being I have ever seen and I could tell from every girl’s reaction I was not the only one that thought this, as he walked casually into the classroom.
“Class this is Carl Frost, he will be joining us for the rest of the year, Carl take a seat.’ Mr. Kraugher exclaimed.
Carl hesitantly took a seat on the row in front of us. He looked beautiful even just from the back. Kay, Lucy and I all looked at each other and Kay smiled mischievously.
We decided to approach him at lunch the next day. He was sitting on a table filled with some of the popular girls we were friendly with all gazing at him admiringly but Kay gave them a look, which said back off. We then engaged in conversation and discovered he was not only good looking but had been sports captain at his old school and top set in all his subjects but didn’t boast about it at all just shyly admitted it. He was too perfect to be real. Kay couldn’t keep off of him and Lucy also looked fascinated. Afterwards we all had to go and Kay told Lucy and me she thought he liked her. As many boys did.
But to her surprise as we were leaving school he whispered to Lucy:
“You want to go out with me some time?”
Lucy had never been known for getting boys. She had had two relationships, one had lasted a two years and the other six months. Unlike Kay’s who’s usually lasted up to five days till she saw someone she decided she liked better. Lucy’s sudden attention from Carl caused a lot of friction between the two of them, and I would be lying if I said I didn’t feel at all jealous.
“You want a drink Kay?”
It was Sunday morning; Lucy was due to go out with Carl on their third date that night and Kay had popped over to my house for a brief visit.
Kay didn’t answer.
“Aww come on hun, You’re not still annoyed about Lucy and Carl are you? We should be happy for her.”
“Why should we? Any boy would rather go for me over her, why should he be different?”
If anyone else would have said this, I would have laughed it off and told them to get over themselves. But I was used to Kay’s high self-esteem and it didn’t bother me.
“Maybe, but jealousy will only ruin our friendship and that is more important than any boy. You don’t want to hurt her do you?”
“Hurt her? No. Kill her, maybe.” She joked with a wicked grin and I went to get her her drink.
The next day Lucy wasn’t in school. Nor the next day. I rang her house and no one was home but later got a call from her parents asking if we’d seen her. Her mums voice was laced with terror. And soon after Kay called me in tears.
“I didn’t mean it, I didn’t mean what I said at the sleepover, well I did some of it but I didn’t want her to disappear like this. What are we going to do? What has happened to her? What if she never comes back?”
“It’s all right, hush, Kay she is probably fine.” I reassured her, “She must be somewhere, and I think I know someone who would know just were that somewhere is.”
We walked up to Carl in after class the next day. He was sat with his head down listening to his Walkman and not with his usual crowd of jocks. He looked pale but still breath-takingly beautiful.
“Carl where’s Lucy?” I asked.
“Do you believe him?” I turned to Kay.
We were alone in the girl’s locker room after our brief meeting with Carl.
“Emmm…I guess so. I mean he seemed pretty shaken about the whole thing. Her standing him up and then going missing like that and not knowing were she is. He’s sensitive like that you know…” she said, with a flicker of a smile and then her smile faded.
“Oh no, but where is she then?” Her eyes filled with tears.
I hugged her.
“I’m sure she’s okay.” I said with a pained smile.
But I wasn’t sure at all.
The next few weeks were the worst ones I had ever experienced. There was still no sign of Lucy and Kay was a reck. Carl was very distant and only spoke mostly to Kay. I was too grief stricken about Lucy to care though and fought tears in school to set an example to Kay. But every night I would sit awake, hot tears streaming down my face. Wondering where she could be. If she was safe or, I dared to think, hurt or even dead.
I ended up unpurposely avoiding Kay most of the time her pain made me feel worse.
Until one day I decided to visit her with sympathy and some chocolates.
I walked up her drive and put on the biggest fake smile I could manage.
But my smile dropped when I saw what was in the window. It was Carl with his back to me. He appeared to be kissing someone.
“Lucy!” I screamed with sheer delight, “Lucy you’re back, they found you!”
But then I realised it wasn’t Lucy. I could see strawberry blonde curls falling over Carl’s shoulders. I turned and ran.
How could she? I thought, sitting on my bed. It had only been three weeks ago that he was going out with Lucy. I thought about it for along time. Maybe it was just their way of dealing with their pain over Lucy’s disappearance, I thought, and decided that this might be the most liable conclusion as Kay was very mixed up at the time. I pondered over it and finally fell asleep.
The next day Kay wasn’t in school. Not again, I thought. One missing friend was terrible enough without another one disappearing. I rang Kay’s aunt that day, which she lived with. Kay’s aunt said she had thought Kay had been staying with me. I hung up then collapsed onto the ground and heard a clatter as my phone hit floor. I felt helpless. I just wanted to sink into the ground and die.
The next day was worse as there were still no signs of Kay or Lucy. It was like something you hear on the news, you feel sad but never really think it would happen to you, and this time it had. After third period I couldn’t take it any longer and got up and left the school. As I was walking out the drive I heard a familiar voice shout after me.
“Ashley, we need to talk.”
I turned round to see Carl Frost walking towards me looking at me sympathetically.
“I can’t believe she’s gone.” I cried, “First Lucy, now this I-”
I stopped in mid sentence feeling the tears, like blood, trickling down my face.
“Hush,” he said calmly and put his arms around me.
He was so warm; it felt good to have sympathy from him. He seemed to understand without saying a word.
“I know how you feel.” He murmured softly, stroking my hair.
I relaxed against him. He was so comforting. No wonder Kay had been kissing him. Then I suddenly realised something.
He had been kissing Kay the night she disappeared. I pulled away slightly and turned up my face so I could see him.
“What happened with you and Kay the night she disappeared?” I enquired.
“I don’t know. I was at football practice. I didn’t see her.”
I could feel my whole body shiver just then. I knew I had to get away.
When I got home my first thought was to call the police. I swung open the door and quickly fumbled up the stairs shaking my breath heavy. I picked up the phone in my room and was about to dial the number when I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror.
I hadn’t paid much attention to my looks since Lucy’s disappearance. My face, which was known for it’s healthy glow looked almost ghostly pale, and there were bags under my eyes probably due to my lack of sleep. With a deep breath I turned away and punched the numbers onto the phone.
“I need the police,” I told the woman on the other end.
“I think I know who is responsible for the disappearances of Lucy Grey and Kayleigh Myers. There’s this boy that was kind of Lucy’s boyfriend he-”
I stopped and in mid sentence and gazed at the mirror, and noticed there was another reflection. I heard myself gasp as I dropped the phone. And in an instant I felt a hard blow hitting the back of my head like lightning. With a loud thud, my body dropped limply to the floor.
The air around me was cold and the wind bit at my skin. I could feel the dampness of the earth beneath me. Where am I? I thought to myself. I pulled myself up and looked round. In the darkness of the night I managed to make out trees. I’m in a wood! I realised. I got up and attempted to walk. Pain cascaded through my ankle but I managed to find a tree to rest against.
How did I get here? I wondered. But then I noticed a dark figure, like a shadow, moving it’s way slowly towards me.
I heard a high-pitched scream as Carl Frost’s features came into view, and it took me a moment to realise it was coming from me.
“SHHH! Calm down! Don’t scream, I’m here to help you,” he pleaded.
“Yeah sure, like you helped Kay and Lucy,” I cried.
He looked generally take aback and hurt, but I knew better, and using all the power I had left in my throbbing ankles broke into a painful jog. He called after me but didn’t stop me. I knew I had to get far away from him.
That’s when I saw it. A girl, with her back to me, long curly blonde hair trailing down her slim back.
“Kay!” I yelled joyfully.
I watched her body turn as if in slow motion. And without hesitation grabbed her into a fierce hug.
“Kay” I said, tears pouring down my face, “I thought you were dead, or something had happened to you. I’m so glad you’re all right. I hope Carl didn’t hurt you”
“Hush now my dear,” She cooed softly into my ear. All the fear I had felt seemed to drain out of me and I stopped talking and let Kay support me. I was so happy to see her. It was so calm and peaceful. But then my momentary bliss faded when I saw it. Sharp silver glittering almost invitingly at me. A knife.
My senses reeled and reflectively, I jumped back. But Kay still kept her tight grasp on me I could feel a small sting as she pushed the blade softly onto the side of my neck and held it there. And with confused fear I managed to blurt out:
“Kay what the hell are you doing?”
“Time to hush now pretty Ashley,” she cooed with a hint of sarcasm.
“That’s what you are aren’t you? Pretty,” she continued, “you were always the pretty ones, you and Lucy. The ones he wanted, not little me.”
“Kay what do you mean? You know that’s not true!” I protested. Then realization struck me. I gasped.
“Kay you don’t mean to tell me that Lucy didn’t just disappear and the whole time you-”
I couldn’t finish my sentence my voice was shaking and if not for Kay’s harsh grip, I would’ve collapsed.
“Yes, it was quite easy actually nobody would’ve expected me, her best friend and you weren’t very hard to fool!” She exclaimed triumphantly, as if proud.
“B-but why Kay? Lucy was you’re friend. I’m your friend.”
“My friend?” Kay shrieked angrily, as I felt the pressure of the blade get harder.
“You are not my friends. The only boy I ever loved liked Lucy, and now he likes you!”
There was something about Kay just then. An animal-like insanity. Her dark brown eyes shone menacingly and the wild curls of her hair seemed like flames. Kay was not the Kay that I had known but something that filled me with so much horror. It was then I realised that I was probably going to die that night.
My feelings seemed to come together. A mix of confusion filled with anger at what Kay had done, but over all this was the pure ice like terror digging into me harder than the blade. But at the same time calmness at the fact there was scarce chance that there was anything I could do. I was helpless, and it would all be over soon enough. There was no escape.
I decided that the best thing to do was to keep her talking.
“But Kay..” I asked. “He must like you! I saw you two kissing.” I reassured her. Turning my face up nervously, as she was fairly taller, to view her reaction. She paused for a moment and then a child like expression formed over her face.
“He wouldn’t let me kiss him, I tried but he said it was wrong, and it was hard for him as he felt something for you as well as what he felt for Lucy, he hurt me Ashley.” She stopped and then her civilness seemed to disappear as she smiled her old grin, which had once seemed so mischievous and exiting now seemed twisted and evil.
“Now for that I’m going to hurt you!” She raised the blade above my neck. I looked at her face just then. Her eyes, which were now fixed on mine, glowed with a sadistic pleasure. It was then I noticed a tall figure from behind her. Kay turned but was too late. The figure grabbed the knife from her and soon I heard sirens. The police had come. Kay must’ve been pulled of me because then I really did collapse.
I heard an unfamiliar voice say. I opened my eyes dazed seeing a plump middle aged black woman standing over me.
“Where am I?” I groaned. All my muscles ached.
“Where are you? Sweetie you are in Tencliffe hospital, you must’ve had a pretty rough night last night, no doubt.”
The memories of the night before spilled back into my head. I shuddered.
“Oh it appears you have a visitor,” the women who appeared to be a nurse said.
I looked up to see Carl Frost shyly enter the room. The nurse took the hint and left.
“Hey, you all right?” He asked. Sounding genuinely concerned.
“As good as can be expected,” I groaned. “What exactly happened last night?”
Carl then told me that he had been suspecting Kay from near the start, as she had seemed very angry when he had refused to kiss her. “Why did you say you were at football practice that night?” I had interrupted.
He explained that he had gone to football practice later that night bur didn’t want people to link him to the disappearances. Then he told me that my reaction yesterday day, when he had tried to comfort me worried him, and he had come by to see if I was okay but had seen Kay’s car and followed it to where she was going, scared she would hurt me. He had then found me knocked out in the woods and managed to call the police, before I had run away from him. Guilt washed over me for having suspected him.
He then told me Kay was being held by the police for the murder of Lucy Grey and the attempted murder of me. I shuddered again, holding back tears of confusion and sadness.
“I suspect she was insanely jealous of both of you.” He then said.
“I can understand why she would be jealous of Lucy, but why me?” Then tears really did spill. He put his arm around me and I relaxed next to him.
“Why you? Because you are stunning.” He said seriously.
If I wouldn’t have been so upset I would have been incredibly flattered to be complimented by someone so good-looking. I gave him a pained smile and hugged him tighter. I remembered then what Kay had said about him liking me, but despite this I didn’t feel ready to be more than friends with him, or anybody at the time. I realised that through the horrifying events I had made what seemed a potentially close friend. It was then I knew that although I had over gone the worst events I could have possibly imagined, that someday I was going to be all right.